BEFS Bulletin – What about wellbeing?

Get The Latest Built Environment News, Publications, Policy Developments And More.


Built Environment Forum Scotland are signatories of an open letter to Kevin Stewart, Minister for Local Government, Housing and Planning, regarding the introduction of minimum standards for whole lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions for new buildings under Section 6 of the Scottish Building Standards. Read a draft of the letter here.

Wiki Loves Monuments starts on 1st September. The international photography competition aims to add openly-licensed pictures of listed buildings and scheduled monuments around the world to the Wikimedia Projects. Last year Scotland uploaded 4411 pictures. Can we beat that number this year?

This year, Doors Open Days turns 30 with an incredible programme of events, from swimming pools full of flowers to tours of Scotland’s finest buildings hosted by refugees. Find out what is happening in your region this September.

In our first blog this week, BEFS Policy and Strategy Manager reflects on the recent National Lottery Heritage Fund event and opportunities and challenges of the wellbeing agenda for heritage.

Laura MacDonald, Neighbourhoods and Communities programme at the University of Glasgow, shares the findings of her research, which maps the built environment in Scotland over the course of a year, in our second blog.

The built environment sector in Scotland is hosting an array of events, conferences and training this Autumn so do check out our events section to make sure you don’t miss out. You can also visit our online events calendar.


The Stone of Destiny
Opened 15 Aug 2019 and closes 19 Sep 2019.

Call for Evidence on the Long-Term Financial Sustainability of Local Government
The closing date for receipt of submissions is Friday 23 August 2019.

Are Scotland’s Roads Funded Properly? 
The deadline for submissions is 6 September 2019.

The Energy Efficiency (Private Rented Property) (Scotland) Regulations 2019
Closes 13 Sep 2019.

Committee investigates environmental impact of travel and tourism
Submissions should be made by 5pm on Friday 13 September.

Consultation on the Right to Buy Land to Further Sustainable Development
Closes 19 Sep 2019.

Practical Fire Safety Guidance for existing Specialised Housing and other supported domestic accommodation
Closes 22 Oct 2019.

A Consultation on Scotland’s National Transport Strategy
Closes 23 Oct 2019.


Guide to Building Maintenance in a Changing Climate (EWH 22/08/19)

Transforming Towns: Delivering a Sustainable Future for Local Places (FSB 21/08/19)

Vacant and Derelict Land Task Force: Phase One Report (SLC 20/08/19)

Briefing: Overview of Evidence on Economic Impacts of EU Immigration (NIESR 19/08/19)

Backing the Bedrock – Five Heritage Fiscal & Funding Priorities 2019 (THA 08/19/)

Past Lives of Leith: Archaeological Work for Edinburgh Trams (Julie Franklin, Carmelita Troy, Kate Britton, Donald Wilson, John A. Lawson 03/2019

Scottish Government News Releases

Scotland’s population (SG 14/08/19)
Life expectancy in Scotland has increased over the past three decades, but has stalled in recent years, according to a report published today by National Records of Scotland.

Doubts over Erasmus+ after EU exit (SG 13/08/19)
The Scottish and Welsh Governments have raised serious concerns about the impact of a ‘no-deal’ Brexit on the popular Europe-wide international student exchange program Erasmus+.

News Releases

Adapt Northern Heritage Conference 2020 – Call for Contributions (ANH2020 22/08/19)
Climate change is threatening historic places across the world, especially in the world’s northern regions. The international Adapt Northern Heritage Conference 2020 will explore practices and research. Submit your abstract by 27 September 2019.

New guidance published to help protect Edinburgh’s buildings against Climate Change (EWH 22/08/19)
A new guide published today alerts property owners to the impact of climate change on traditional buildings in the capital, and provides practical advice on how to protect them against damage and decay.

Nine local closures a month must prompt Scottish town rethink (FSB 21/08/19)
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) revealed this figure as they published a new report calling for a slew of measures to boost Scotland’s 479 local towns.

£90m a year plea to revitalise Scotland’s rural towns (Herald 21/08/19)
Scotland’s rural towns are struggling to survive the mass closures of local services and governments must make a “generational commitment” to revitalise them, according to a report.

Tourists snub Scotland ‘because of Brexit fears’ (Herald 21/08/19)
BREXIT uncertainty has caused overseas visitors to stay away from Scotland this year, heaping pressure on one of the country’s most important industries.

‘National agency needed’ to enforce Scottish building standards (BBC Scotland 19/08/19)
Building standards in Scotland should be enforced by a national agency, according to environment group Greenpeace.

National focus needed to realise the opportunities of transforming derelict land, Taskforce says (SLC 19/08/19)
The Vacant and Derelict Land Taskforce is challenging all sectors in Scotland to help bring land back into productive use and prevent future sites from being abandoned

Voting Opens for the Great British High Street Awards 2019 (STP 12/08/19)
The Great British High Street Awards, run by The Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) in partnership with Visa and backed by other partners, are recognising and celebrating the communities that are working to revive local high streets.

Help us make a zine about place! (PAS 09/08/19)
We are creating a town planning zine, under the title “An unofficial guide to involving young people in their place”.  We are seeking submission from our volunteers, young people and those with an interest in involving young people in community development, heritage and environmental issues, place plans and town planning generally on the theme of “Future Places”.

Material passports: finding value in rubble (AJ 08/08/19)
Repurposing a building starts with knowing all of its constituent parts. Isabella Kaminski looks at how material passports could change the industry.

Opinion & Comment

Time for action on making use of our land (SLC 21/08/19)

An Artistic Chapter in the Story of Historic Buildings (Wasps 20/08/19)

SPAB Scotland goes to Dublin (SPAB 07/08/19)

What’s in a name? What do Scotland’s street names tell us about our history and culture (HES 06/08/19)

Ways to meaningfully involve young people in heritage (NLHF 07/19)

Parliamentary Questions & Answers

Questions marked with a triangle (?) are initiated by the Government in order to facilitate the provision of information to the Parliament.

Question S5W-24516: Alex Rowley, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour, Date Lodged: 30/07/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what progress it is making with its £50 million town centre fund.
Answered by Derek Mackay (07/08/2019)

Question S5W-24515: Maurice Golden, West Scotland, Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party, Date Lodged: 29/07/2019
To ask the Scottish Government what it is doing to ensure that councils comply with their statutory duty to keep a register of contaminated land.
Answered by Roseanna Cunningham (16/08/2019)


For the latest information about BEFS Members’ events see our events calendar.

HTN and SCT Event: Claim that Funding!
Date & time: Wed, 28 August 2019, 09:30 – 16:00.
Venue: The Acorn Centre, West High Street, Inverurie AB51 3SA.
Members often tell us that Full Cost Recovery (particularly for those embarking on a National Lottery Heritage Fund application) is one of their biggest challenges, along with evaluating and measuring the impact of their project. Pamela Redpath will be delivering training on both topics and will be available to answer questions throughout the day. We will also hear from local heritage case studies, including the team at the Garioch Heritage Centre, whilst making sure that there is plenty of time for attendees to network, problem solve and share their news. This is a joint event run by the Heritage Trust Network and the Scottish Civic Trust, attendance is free for members of both organisations. Not a member of HTN or SCT yet? You are welcome to join us for one free event before signing up.

Blooms with a View
Date & time: Friday 30 Aug – Sunday 1 September, 8.30am-6.00pm each day
Venue: Govanhill Baths, Glasgow
We’re filling Govanhill Baths in Glasgow full of flowers, to celebrate 30 years of Doors Open Days in Scotland. From snapdragons in the stalls to sunflowers in the skylights, we’re working with Floraboration to create a mind-blowing floral takeover of one of Glasgow’s best-loved spaces. Visit us on 30 August – 1 September to see for yourself. We’re planning a whole host of free events, including lectures, an autism hour and artist times, but booking is essential.

‘Monuments in Monuments’ Conference 
Date & time: 2nd – 4th September
Venue: The Engine Shed, Stirling
Monuments in Monuments 2019 will explore innovative and traditional approaches to stone conservation inside traditional buildings. Carved stones and objects inside buildings often present significant conservation challenges. Exposure to poor environmental conditions causes the decay and eventual loss of these monuments. Hear from specialists and experts in the field, and explore how traditional skills, emerging technology and conservation science are helping to overcome these challenges.

Masterplanning, Scalability and Complexity
Date & time: 3 September 2019; 16:00 – 20:00.
Venue: University of Dundee, Dalhousie Building, 75 Old Hawkhill, Dundee DD15EN.
It’s argued that modern planners are ?ghting a losing battle to impose order on complex systems because they fail to understand what it is they are dealing with. Cities can be planned but only if we work with, rather than against, the complex systems of urban growth. This is something that was well understood in the past but was lost in the post-war planning reforms. This timely event will include two presentations by leading international experts focusing on the impact and imprint of cumulative change on the physical and social urban fabric.

SPAB Scotland Autumn Pub Social _ West Brewery
Date: 4th September 2019, 17.30 onwards.
Location:  West Brewery, 15 Binnie Place, G40 1AW, Glasgow.
SPAB Scotland are coming to you!  SPAB in Glasgow is organising an informal get together for drinks and socialising.  On Wednesday 4th September we will be meeting at West Brewery, Templeton Building, Glasgow Green from 5:30pm onwards. This pub is situated overlooking Glasgow Green, and is housed in one of the most spectacular brick buildings in Scotland.All Built Heritage enthusiasts, builders, craftspeople, professionals and scholars cordially invited. Look out for a SPAB magazine on the table if you aren’t familiar with any other SPAB members. The event will be hosted by committee members Jamie McNamara, Tom Hay and Stephanie Weinraub; who will be happy to welcome all new faces! Booking is not required, but please email us if you would like further information or to let us know you will be there.

Innovations in Public Participation in Planning and Urban Design
Date & time: Tuesday, 10 September 2019 at 6:00PM – 8:00PM
Venue: 9 Bakehouse Close, 146 Canongate, Edinburgh, EH8 8DD
In the 50th anniversary year of the Skeffington Report, this seminar with RSA and A&DS explores opportunities and challenges of community engagement in planning and urban design. Dr Oliver Escobar (University of Edinburgh) presents recent research on ‘democratic innovations to counter the democratic recession’, using examples from Europe and North America. With the introduction of Local Place Plans in the Planning (Scotland) Act 2019, Julia Frost (PAS and RTPI Convenor) discusses recent experiences of charrettes for facilitating local place-planning. Irene Beautyman (Improvement Service) explores how the skills gap for planners and elected members can be overcome ensuring effective community engagement.

Scotland’s Garden and Landscape Heritage – Falkland Garden Study Day
Date & time: Saturday 14 September at 10.00 a.m.
Venue: The Stables, Falkland Estate, Falkland, KY15 7AF
Lectures by Marietta Crichton Stuart, trustee, estate and family historian and archivist, on evolution and change – the story of Falkland Estate’s gardens and landscape from 1820 to the present; Susan Thores, Head Gardener, on the Palace garden from Percy Cane’s re-design c1947 onwards; Peter Burman, Chairman of the Falkland Stewardship Trust, on how John Ruskin’s ideas about gardening and food are interpreted at Falkland. Landscape and garden walks led by Peter Burman and Susan Thores. Members £25 / Non-members £30. Cost includes lectures, guided walks, lunch and tea. Deadline for bookings: Friday 6th September 2019.

Tenements Today | Tenements Tomorrow Conference
Date & time: Wed, 18 September 2019; 09:30 – 16:30.
Location: The Lighthouse, 11 Mitchell Lane, Glasgow G1 3NU
Most urban Scots live in flats, and we’re all aware that these buildings can pose real challenges to residents when it comes to maintenance, energy efficiency, repairs and relations with neighbours and owners. The Scottish Civic Trust, in collaboration with Built Environment Forum Scotland and Under One Roof are hosting this national conference to discuss issues relating to tenements. Over the course of the day, we’ll be talking about sinking funds, owners’ associations and social investment, as well as looking at international best practice. Speakers including Kevin Stewart MSP, Annie Flint (Under One Roof), Niall Murphy (Glasgow City Heritage Trust), Graham Simpson MSP, John McKinney (Scottish Traditional Building Forum), Graham Boyack (Scottish Mediation Service), and Soraya Din (Pollokshields Owners Network), Mitch Miller and Euan Leitch (Built Environment Forum Scotland).

Renewable Heat Energy
Date & time: Wednesday, 25 September 2019 at 12:00PM – 1:30PM
Venue: The Usual Place, Academy St, Dumfries DG1 1BZ
Join us for lunch and networking from 12 noon. Euan Hutchison and Gavin Shirley from Natural Power will be giving a presentation from 12:30 on renewable heat energy. The presentation will include a policy overview, technical information and a case study of planning/permitting compliance management.

UN Sustainable Development Goals Workshop
Date & time: Thursday, 26 September 2019 at 6:00PM – 7:15PM
Venue: Aberdeenshire Council, Woodhill House (Members Building), Westburn Road, Aberdeen AB16 5GB
The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) officially came into force on 1 January 2016. Over the next fifteen years these new goals aim to mobilize global efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequality and tackle climate change.
This workshop will involve short presentations and a ‘global café’ series of activities for delegates to participate in, providing an opportunity to discuss various aspects of SDG’s and how these relate to professional practice. This event will be led by Arup.

Edinburgh and East Lothian Doors Open Days 2019
Date: 28 -29th September 2019.
Doors Open Days offers you the chance to explore some of Edinburgh and East Lothian’s architecturally and culturally significant buildings – all for free. From heritage landmarks to the city’s newest architecture, Doors Open Day offers free access and often behind the scenes tours to properties that are either not usually open to the public or would normally charge an entry fee. Doors Open Days also includes a lecture series and a wide range of walks, events and demonstrations. For more information, watch out for the Doors Open Days brochure being published on 2nd September via as well as in print across the city.

Edinburgh Doors Open Day- Roofing Demo
Dates: 28-29th September, 10.00-16.00.
Location: Courtyard of the Cockburn Association, Trunks Close, 55 High Street, EH1 1SR Edinburgh.
For this year’s Doors Open Day, SPAB Scotland will be hosting SPAB Fellow 2016 Peter McCluskey who will be demonstrating roofing repairs. This event is completely free to attend and open to all, so please do pop by with your friends and family and learn a bit more about traditional roofing skills. Please note that you do not need to book a place or register for this event.

RTPI Scotland Annual Conference 2019 Changing Places – Collaborating to make a difference
Date & time: Tuesday, 01 October 2019 at 10:00AM – 5:00PM
Venue: Emirates Arena, 1000 London Road, Glasgow G40 3HG
The new Planning Act, Place Principle, Place Standard and community planning show public policy and planning practice in Scotland aiming to become more place-focused and collaborative. This conference takes a look at how place-based approaches are undertaken, how they impact on the ground, are coordinated and delivered and how stakeholders are engaged in their development. We’ll explore issues including economic growth, design, regeneration, health, travel and infrastructure. We’ll take a granular approach exploring in detail how this is being developed in Glasgow, especially in the East End through presentations and walking tours. We’ll also explore place-based, collaborative approaches taken in a range of settings across the UK and Ireland.

Creating Better Places for Scotland’s Gypsy/Traveller Community
Date: October 1st 2019.
Venue: Saracen House, Glasgow.
The Gypsy/Traveller community is deeply rooted in Scotland with its long history and culture. Despite this, Gypsy/Travellers are too often marginalised and excluded from decisions that affect them. This event is an ideal opportunity for Gypsy/Travellers, local and national government officers, elected representatives at local and national level, planners, community planning, community councillors, public health professionals, employers, infrastructure providers and all other relevant stakeholders to engage with other thought leaders and potential partners that can help forge solutions to the challenges faced by the community.

RIAS Convention & Doolan Award 2019: Climate of Opinion
Date: 4 – 5 October 2019
Venue: EICC, The Exchange, 150 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8EE
The RIAS Annual conference for architecture & built environment professionals is now open for bookings! This year’s event combines the conference and Doolan Award for Best Building in Scotland. Climate of opinion takes place in Edinburgh with a full day of discussion, debate and celebration around designing for climate resilience, diversity and northern Europe. The Friday evening dinner will involve presentation of the Best Building in Scotland Award (presented by Cabinet Secretary Aileen Campbell) as well as a chance to relax with fellow delegates and convention speakers in the stunning surroundings of the National Museum of Scotland. The event will be rounded off on the Saturday morning with building visits and a city tour exploring some of Edinburgh’s award-winning architecture. View confirmed speakers so far here.

Charles Taylor Woodwork Workshop Visit
Date: 5th October 2019.
Location: Charles Taylor Woodwork & Design Ltd, West Church, EH22 1JD, DALKEITH
Price: £12. Booking is required, as space is limited.
This presentation by Charles Taylor Woodwork of Dalkeith and Hugh Garratt of Smith and Garratt Specialist Conservation Surveyors is designed to help professionals and enthusiasts understand the process of the conservation of historic woodwork.  They will present the conservation challenges of two recently completed projects. “The Oak Room” – The Charles Rennie Mackintosh Ingram Street tea room conserved and reconstructed as a major exhibit within the Scottish Design Gallery at the V&A Museum Dundee. Hugh Garrett will present a talk on his role in the Sotheby’s award winning restoration of the Palladian mansion Marchmont House, Greenlaw. There will also be the opportunity to view the workshop within the historic West Church, see the equipment and ask any questions you may have about the processes.

Mediation in Scottish Planning – what happens now?
Date & time: Tue, 22 October 2019; 09:30 – 16:00.
Venue: Edinburgh.
On 20 June 2019, the Scottish Parliament passed the Planning (Scotland) Bill, bringing in a range of reforms to the planning system. Notably, the new Bill introduces mediation into the planning system for the first time. As the Bill awaits Royal Assent over the summer, work now begins on defining how this will work in practice, considering where in the system and under which circumstances mediation can be most effective. PAS and Scottish Mediation are jointly hosting a one-day conference on 22 October to explore how mediation in planning will work, from a practitioner perspective (planners and mediators), a community perspective and what opportunities this will create for planning in all relevant sectors.


Nanolime for the consolidation of stone, mortar, plaster and wall paintings
Date: 5th of September, morning session only
Venue: Stirling Castle – Green Room
The workshop is divided into 4 topics. The first two parts deal with the basic properties and characterization of nanolime (CaLoSiL) and the carbonisation process. In addition to application notes, strategies are also discussed to avoid remaining white haze. In the third part the combination of nanolime and silicic acid ester is discussed. This is followed by various application examples for the consolidation of stone, plaster, mortar and wall paintings as well as special application areas like anti moulding agent, realkalization of concrete, bone and wood conservation etc. Finally the possibility of modifying injection grouts and repair mortars, slurries and fillers is discussed.

5-day Practical Gilding Course
Date: 9th – 13th of September
Venue: Kelvin Hall Open Collection, 1445 Argyle Street, Glasgow.
The Course aims to familiarise participants with the materials, methods and techniques of both water and oil gilding. The course provides opportunities to learn a variety of skills relating to gilding, using traditional materials and techniques. Participants will be able to prepare and take away with them a gilded frame. This practical course will also cover information about gilding conservation, making it particularly useful to newly-qualified conservators. However, it is also suited to anyone with an interest in gilding – beginner, refresher or someone with experience. All tools and materials are included in the cost. The course will run from 10 – 4 each day.

Introduction to indigenous earth building traditions and techniques EB1
Date: 16 September 2019, 09.30 – 16.30.
Venue: Merryhill Training Centre, Fife
Cost: £165 + vat
This course complements our existing range of courses for the repair, conservation and maintenance of traditional buildings and bridges a knowledge and experience gap required for the effective repair, conservation and maintenance of earth constructed buildings which unknowingly abound our landscape in Scotland. Scotland has a rich but largely forgotten heritage of earth buildings which is slowly gaining recognition through recent projects and publications. There is also a global revival for earth and natural materials in eco-construction. Becky Little (Rebearth Ltd) has over 25 years’ of experience working with both earth here and abroad and will share her knowledge across a range of disciplines, including sourcing and testing materials, mixing and making samples, building and repairing structures. By the end of this workshop course attendees will be able to recognise earth and clay built structures and will gain an understanding of earth materials science, construction methods and the conservation requirements for their effective repair.

The Secret of Surfaces – Reflectance Transformation Imaging Training course
Date & time: 27th of September
Venue: Museums Galleries Scotland, Waverley Gate, 2-4 Waterloo Place, Edinburgh
RTI is a non-invasive imaging technique for documenting the surfaces of archaeological objects, intricately carved stonework, works of art or archive material. Combining the data from many images of the object, RTI produces files that show the object’s surface interactively in detail. A special RTI Viewer software enables us to manipulate the light source within the image – making us see the object lit from different angles. This creates a 3D effect of the virtual surface structure. The RTI training course will show the possibilities of documentation for a range of objects and materials – from the mapping of archaeological artefacts to monitoring flaking paint layers or the growth of mould on archival documents, to detecting fine details of wax seals. Marta Pilarska will take the attendees through the basic steps of taking RTI-compatible photographs, capturing and processing the images with the software to create interactive RTI image files.


Paid Internship
Interested in Community Ownership/Development and finance? Scottish Land Commission are looking for an intern to help with a project on innovative community funding models.
Deadline 13 September.

Consultancy Opportunity
Archaeology Scotland wishes to appoint a consultant(s) to provide advice and support for our business planning and organisational development process, including the development of a business plan, income generation and fundraising strategy, governance review, and audience engagement development plan.